Trying to qualify for financial aid is one of the most crucial things when continuing on to secondary education, which is why financial aid should be based on grade point average, not income.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, eligibility for most federal student aid depends on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), academic year, enrollment status and the cost of attendance at the institution they attend or plan to attend.
Students with a large household income receive little to no financial aid, which means those who are considered middle class are believed to have the financial backing to cover the cost of their tuition.
Some of the best minds are lost because they can’t afford to attend college. If a person knew that he or she would get money with a high GPA, he or she wouldn’t be discouraged by fear of financial burdens.
If federal student aid was based on grades instead of income, it would allow more students to receive money.
Award letters would be based on a tier-bonus system, so financial aid would increase with each additional grade point.
Currently, a person who qualifies for the Cal Grant and earns a 3.0 GPA or higher can get an additional $1,600 reward.
According to the California Student Aid Commission, the average GPA for Cal Grant A&B recipients was 3.41in 2012-13.
If all federal aid was based on GPA it would allow more students to qualify for financial assistance and would eliminate the ongoing corruption and misuse of money when distributed.
Although maintaining satisfactory academic progress is one of the requirements to be eligible for financial aid, it doesn’t mean that if your academic progress is satisfactory you qualify for all the money needed to cover tuition.
That is not to say that we should disregard the present eligibility requirements. But we should reward students who strive for academic excellence with something more than just a name on a Dean’s List.
Ultimately, the best way to reward students and maintain federal student aid’s status as the largest source of financial assistance to pay for college, would be to make grade point average the main factor of eligibility.